Should I stop marketing during the Coronavirus outbreak?

by Laura
Last updated: March 13th, 2020

Many businesses are confused, worried or panicking about the impact of Coronavirus on sales. Many places are closing, cancelling events or seeing reduced footfall at their premises as the public try to protect themselves. Some B2C businesses are scaling back their spend across the board because they are seeing less day to day customers and are worried about their bottom line. 

We are getting asked, “Should I stop marketing or delay my web project until the Coronavirus has passed?”. Our answer to this is a big fat NO! In fact, you might benefit from scaling up your marketing and web budgets right now rather than down.

What do people do when they are stuck at home sick or with nothing to do?

They browse the web and shop online! If you’re an e-commerce business, you might find your online sales increasing even if your footfall is decreasing so it might be a great time to invest in Google shopping ads or Facebook ads. Those who start something new during their time off, whether it’s beginning to do yoga at home, doing more reading or spending time doing arts and crafts, will need all the equipment required for their new hobby, which they can buy online and get delivered. All the gear and no idea remember?!

What if I’m a service business or don’t sell physical products?

Most businesses can benefit from the newly available time that those self-isolating or social-distancing now find themselves with. Many will take this time to research, relax or do those jobs they’ve been putting off. Your customer might have time to think about their next holiday or plan an event (for after Coronavirus of course!). Building your brand awareness during this time will be essential so that you’re first on their list for future plans. For service-based businesses, start building trust with your future clients and getting your name out there onto digital platforms. Those who deal in digital-only products are seeing a huge increase in sales right now, especially those who deal in video conferencing, if you’re in that space, get advertising!

What if I’ve shut down my physical premises?

Some businesses have told their staff to work from home (welcome to the club!), leaving business owners with a bit of empty nest syndrome. Firstly, don’t consider this a disaster, this is the future for many businesses, embrace it! Not having premises can save you money and time (time is money after all). With staff working from home, your employee satisfaction could increase and happy employees = greater productivity. With more work being done, you’ll be able to build more projects into your pipeline and you’ll need marketing to do this. 

What if my staff aren’t working from home and we’ve just totally closed?

We see business owners pause on their marketing and web projects all the time because they just don’t have time to plan them, get all the content together and think thoroughly about what they want. Use this time to do those things. Most marketers and web developers are working as normal so with no other distractions around,  turn your attention to that project you’ve been putting off.

Should I cancel my marketing and web projects because of Coronavirus?

If you stop your marketing immediately, your campaigns will lose momentum so when things go back to normal, there might not be any work to come back to. Businesses should always keep building their pipelines even when they’re too busy, on holiday, shut for coronavirus or whatever it might be. Imagine coming back to work after your 14 day isolation period, with nothing lined up and no projects booked in. That’s more of a panic than the virus!

The Take Home

  • Make the most of extra search volume whilst people are off sick or at home
  • Do those web and marketing projects you’ve been putting off
  • Remember that remote work is an opportunity, not a terror
  • Many people are continuing work as normal – Us included!
  • Plan for the future, you need work to come back to!

It is a difficult time and all businesses are struggling with the uncertainty but if you are confident in your business, product or service you can ride this storm. Don’t forget that customers are understanding; if you’re worried about stock issues or lead times, let your customers know, you could even offer them a discount for their patience if you want to. We are all at risk from the virus and fingers crossed it disappears soon, but rather than dumping your marketing, let it support you and drive your future. 

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